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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Building Trust on the Internet

C. Dianne Martin - The George Washington University

Feb 14, 2001


Many paradigms have been used to described the Internet - an information super highway, a web of information, an information tidal wave - but the paradigm that best conveys both the potential and the problems of the Internet is that of a virtual place. By thinking of the Internet as a "place", it allows us to understand the problems associated with the Internet in the same way that we understand problems associated with real places. Like any place in the real world, we know that we have to deal with issues of safety, security, privacy, access, appropriateness, ethics, and legality.

In this talk, I would like to put many of these concerns under the rubric of trust and examine how technology can be used in an interactive digital environment to engender a sense of trust. To do this, I will first consider the definition of trust from a philosophical and psychological perspective and examine the contextual, cultural and conditional attributes of trust. I will then use two case studies to illustrate how technology can be used to create online trust: protecting children online and mitigating e-commerce risk

About the Speaker

Dr. Dianne Martin is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the George Washington University. She received a double BA in Math Education and Economics from Western Maryland College, an MS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and an Ed.D in Teacher Education from George Washington University. She has thirty years of experience in the computer field, including three years in industry with IBM as a programmer on the Apollo space project, and 25 years of teaching at the university level. In 1987 Dr. Martin received the GWU Eta Kappa Nu Computer Science Teacher of the Year Award. In 1990 she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Western Maryland College, and she received the Outstanding Professor in Computer Science Award from the GW Engineer\'s Council for 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95 and again in 1997-98. In 1999 Dr. Martin was elected to be a Fellow of the ACM.

Dr. Martin was an ACM National Lecturer from 1990-95 and now serves on the ACM Lectureship Advisory Committee. She has been the Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group in Computers and Society (SIGCAS) since 1995. She was chair of the 1996 SIGCAS Computers and the Quality of Life (CQL) Symposia and co-chair of the ACM Policy98 Conference in Washington, DC. Dr. Martin was the Chairman of the Board of the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC), a non-profit organization that provides content labels on computer games and internet web pages for to help parents and teachers make informed decisions about media appropriate for children. She currently serves as the Director of the Cyberspace Policy Institute at George Washington University and the Chief Policy Officer for GeoTrust, an internet-based company developing the trust infrastructure for online marketplaces. Her recent research interests focus on social and ethical impact of technology, models for distance learning over the WWW, interface usability, and design and evaluation of multimedia.

Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52, West Lafayette Campus. More information...


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